Dining at Walt Disney World ® - The Definitive Guide

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Dining at Walt Disney World ® should be a magical experience, but when choosing from over 300 on property dining choices, it can be overwhelming. That is why “Dining at Walt Disney World ® – The Definitive Guide “ was created

Inside these pages you will find in-depth advice including:

  • Detailed descriptions of every Disney dining venue
  • Understanding and receiving the best value from the Disney Dining Plan
  • How to snag hard-to-get dining reservations
  • Saving time and money while dining
  • What are the “must do ” character meals?
  • Disney Dining.com exclusive Picks and Tips

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If Belle decided to visit Walt Disney World, what would her day look like?  Where would she go? Who would she visit? What would she eat?  Follow along on her magical trip to Walt Disney World.

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1. Breakfast in France

Belle’s day would start in Epcot’s World Showcase. Visiting Les Halles Boulangerie in the back of the France Pavilion, a delicious freshly made pastry would start her day off right. She could sit and enjoy the pastry in the beautiful pavilion with the Eiffel tower in the background. After a relaxing breakfast, Belle could choose to head over the Norway to visit Elsa and Anna on Frozen Ever After.



2. Shows in Hollywood Studios

Once Belle is finished in Epcot, she can catch a bus (or soon the sky liner) to head over for some magical shows in Hollywood Studios.  Starting right off by headed to see her enchanted story come to life on stage, she would want to catch Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage.  This is a wonderful way to see how her enchanted story ended happily ever after as well as to see Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere and Cogsworth in their enchanted forms. Voyage of the Little Mermaid would be another great stop for Belle as she could enjoy seeing Ariel’s magical story and another happily ever after ending.


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3. Lunch Options

Belle would have some options when it comes to having lunch.  Returning to Epcot, she could once again head back to the France Pavilion for some excellent choices.  If she is wanting something quick, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie would once again be an excellent choice with small sandwiches.  For a special treat for lunch, L’Artisan des Glaces provided ice cream and sorbet for delicious treats. Finally, Les Chefs de France would be a higher end meal for Belle if she would want something more filling.  From soups to duck, pork and beef there is a lot to choose from for lunch. Before leaving Epcot for the day, Belle could stop by Impressions de France.  This short film is a trip through France bringing beauty to life through fantastic images and wonderful music.



4. Afternoon at Magic Kingdom

Visiting the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day is how Belle would end her day at Walt Disney World.  She could start by visiting Enchanted Tales with Belle to see her father’s wonderful workshop as well as to once again hear her enchanted story told in a beautiful, fun way with little friends. Mickey’s Philharmagic would be another great stop for Belle.  This is a fun way for her to see, hear and experience so many wonderful songs as they come to life on the big screen.  From Little Mermaid and Lion King to seeing Lumiere sing Be Our Guest this show is full of fun. From the show to it’s a Small World, Belle would love riding this ride to see all of the countries of the world.  Just as the stories she reads takes her to places she can only imagine; this ride will sweep her away to new and exciting places. For a quick snack, Belle could stop by Gaston’s Tavern.  Although she might be hesitant to visit his area, Lefou’s brew is a delicious drink.  The area around Gaston’s Tavern is a fun place to relax, shop and visit as well.



5. Supper

For supper, Belle would head to Be Our Guest for a fantastic meal in the ballroom. While she enjoyed the variety of delicious food choices, she would also take time to visit with the Beast. As this is one of the few places where he visits with guests, Belle will for sure want to stop by to say hello. She will also be able to visit the West Wing to see the rose as well as the Castle Gallery.



6. Happily Ever After

To wrap up a wonderful day at Walt Disney World, Belle would enjoy the magical and breathtaking evening show Happily Ever After.  With amazing projections, fireworks and a musical score that takes guests to a special place Belle will love every aspect of this evening show.



From delicious meals to seeing her enchanted story retold, Belle would have a magical day at Walt Disney World visiting the different parks for food, shows and rides. - How Belle Would Spend Her Day at Walt Disney World

Disney’s Coronado Springs is one of the moderate resorts guests can choose to stay at while visiting Walt Disney World.  Over the past year, Coronado Springs has gone through a lot of updates and improvements.  Here are 10 things you’ll love about staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs.

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1. New lobby

A breathtaking scene unfolds as guests enter the new grand entrance of Coronado Springs.  The new two-story lobby will leave guests amazed.  With three arches as well as a back wall that is decorated with Spanish inspired tile patterns, this new lobby is sure to have guests mesmerized from the very beginning of their stay.

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2. Theme

Along with the breathtaking new lobby, a great reason to stay at Coronado Springs is the theming.  Throughout the resort, guests are immersed in a Mexico and American Southwest theme.  Each of the three separate areas (Ranchos, Cabanas, Casitas) brings a little different theme to the bigger Spanish focus of the resort.  The Ranchos look at the cattle ranches of the Southwest where the Cabanas focus on the beaches in Mexico and finally the Casitas bring the Spanish architecture that is often found in Mexico’s cities.  No matter where guests end up staying, they will be truly surrounded by the outstanding theme of the American southwest at Coronado Springs.

3. Update Rooms

Guests will love the newly updated rooms at Coronado Springs. In these new rooms, guests will find a more modern and sleek design with a little fun added through touches using the Three Caballeros.  The biggest change throughout the room was the removing of the carpet.  This gives the floor a fresh, clean feel to it.  The room also has more storage and USB plugins around the TV and desk area.  Overall the updates look new and fresh welcoming guests to their home away from home.

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4. Pool

One of the main things guests will love about staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs is the pool.  The Dig Site pool is one of the best pools on Disney property.  Built around a 50-foot replica Mayan pyramid, guests will enjoy the Lost City of Cibola pool as well as the 123-foot Jaguar side.  In this same area, guests can enjoy the largest hot tub on property, the Siesta’s Bar and a play area.  The Dig Site area is one of the main reasons guests will love staying at Coronado Springs.



5. Exercise option

Guests staying at Coronado Springs can take advantage of two fitness areas starting July 9th.  La Vida Health Club as well as the new fitness center using state of the art Technogym in Gran Destino Tower.  This is the only moderate resort that offers guests a fitness center on Disney property making it a great aspect of the resort.

6. Location

One of the great aspects of Coronado Springs is the location.  Even though it is considered an Animal Kingdom resort, Coronado Springs is located conveniently to all four theme parks.  Using the Disney bus systems, guests can easily get to the four parks in a short 15-20-minute bus ride.

7. Toledo- Tapas, Steaks and Seafood

Starting July 9th, guests are going to love staying at Coronado Springs because of the new restaurant Toledo- Tapas, Steak and Seafood.  This Spanish-inspired restaurant will bring guests delicious steaks, tapas and seafood dishes with bold flavors.  Along with the delicious food options, guests will enjoy choosing from a selection of wines from Spain and California to pair with their meal.

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8. Views

When eating at Toledo- Tapas, Steak and Seafood, guests will enjoy the outstanding view from the 15th story at the top of the new Gran Destino Tower.  Guests will have possible views of both Epcot and Hollywood Studios evening shows.  This will be a great way to enjoy beautiful views right from the resort.

9. Three Bridges Bar and Grill

Just recently the new Three Bridges Bar and Grill opened for guests to enjoy.  Located over Lago Dorado, this bar and grill tells the story of travelers coming together to enjoy stories, food and drinks.  This lake front dining offers sharable items as well as savory choices.  Guests will also enjoy the Art Garden Court and Palm Court both offering larger seating areas for guests to relax and enjoy together.



10. El Mercado de Coronado

Guests will love Coronado’s food court El Mercado de Coronado.  This recently updated food court offers guests a variety of food options throughout the day.  Start off with delicious breakfast plates, grab some lunch while at the pool or catch supper after being at the parks all day.  No matter what food needs arise El Mercado de Coronado will provide some outstanding options.

Those are ten reasons why guests will love about staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs.  From the outstanding theming and amazing pool to the newly opened Three Bridges Bar and Grill and soon to be opened Gran Destino Tower, guests are sure to experience a magical time at Coronado Springs. - 10 Things You’ll Love About Staying at Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is world renowned for its theme parks, but more and more people are visiting the parks and resorts for the food.  Yes, the food.  At a theme park.  Disney has done a lot to hype up their culinary offers through trendy “instagrammable” snacks, but true foodies know that the gourmet offerings at some of the most exclusive park and resort restaurants is where the true food paradise is found.  Here are 8 of those exclusive dining experiences:

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8. Yachtsman Steakhouse

Located at Disney’s Yacht Club resort, Yachtsman Steakhouse offers next level meat and potatoes to please any steak aficionado.  Here you will find choice cuts of aged beef, enhancements including bone marrow and lobster, and delicious sides that you would expect to accompany a great steak like truffle macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach, braised mushrooms or onions, and grilled asparagus.  This restaurant is not extremely difficult to find a dining reservation for, especially if you are prepared to start booking 180 days before your vacation.  It is one of Disney’s signature dining locations, so if you are on a dining plan it is 2 table service credits, and if you are not on a dining plan expect a hefty check once you’ve finished your meal.



7. Jiko

Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite resort destinations for great dining.  They offer dishes with an ethnic African flair, but many of them are familiar enough that it isn’t too intimidating.  Jiko is located in Jambo House and it is the signature dining location for the resort.  The cuisine here is superb with the fan favorite being the Oak Grilled Filet Mignon, but a short rib, seafood curry and lamb shank also round out the menu of excellent options.  But don’t forget the appetizers, and of course the extensive South African Wine List.  All of these combine to make it a very exclusive dinner reservation.  I highly recommend allowing some time to walk around the Animal Kingdom Lodge before or after you dine if you are not staying there—it is spectacular.

6. Highway in the Sky Dine Around

Knowing how popular their restaurants have become with foodies, Disney has put together a special event dining experience to help guests sample dishes from around the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts.  This exclusive event is for guests age 21 and up as it includes alcohol.  The first stop is the Contemporary for a cocktail, then a hop on the monorail and off at the Polynesian for some appetizers and another drink.  At the Grand Floridian guests enjoy wine with their entrée course, and an after dinner cheese plate.  Back at the Contemporary for the end of the night desserts are served with an outdoor view of the fireworks.  If you are interested in this event you will want to make sure you reserve the experience as soon as you are able.  It is a great way to experience a variety of cuisines, and a fun way to spend the evening.

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5. Monsieur Paul

Over in Epcot’s World Showcase is an often overlooked exclusive dining experience:  Monsieur Paul in the France pavilion.  This restaurant is located upstairs above Les Chefs de France and offers a separate entrance.  The relaxed setting can be fooling, but gourmet, upscale French cuisine is found in this exclusive location.  Everything is classically French from the menu to the wine list.  Monsieur Paul has a lot of history built in from its connection to the Chefs who started the restaurants in Epcot’s France pavilion to their reputation in France for delicious food.  This is definitely a spot to try for a quiet date night in World Showcase.

4. Be Our Guest

Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom is one of the most sought after dining reservations, and it can be very difficult to get particularly for the dinner service.  Breakfast and Lunch are quick service options here, but also require reservations.  Dinner is perhaps the most popular time to dine here and it can be very tricky to get that elusive reservation even if you try 180 days before your vacation.  Remember that if you are a Walt Disney World resort hotel guest you can make reservations through the end of your vacation when you are 180 days from your check-in/arrival date, so you may have more success getting tough ones like this if you book it for later in your vacation.  The Prix Fixe Menu here includes your choice of an appetizer (the French onion soup is popular, but I can’t pass on a cheese plate), an entrée (seafood, steak and chicken options are available), and a trio of desserts that includes a taste of the iconic “grey stuff” served in a white chocolate “Chip” cup.



3. California Grill

California Grill located high atop the Contemporary Resort is my current favorite signature dining restaurant at Walt Disney World.  They serve a Brunch on select days, and a dinner service.  This exclusive location has a fantastic seasonal menu, and offers impeccable fireworks viewing as a bonus.  Even if you eat at a time different than the fireworks (I prefer to watch the sunset while I eat), you can come back up to the viewing platforms with your receipt to watch the show.  My favorite dishes here are the Pork or the Steak, but I always start out with the amazing Cheese Plate.

2. Victoria & Albert’s

The Grand Floridian is Disney’s “flagship” resort so it is only fitting that the keystone of their signature dining restaurants, Victoria & Albert’s, is located there.  You have several dining experience options at Victoria & Albert’s—and I say experiences because when you dine here you are in for an evening full of multiple courses, so plan to be here for a while.  The most exclusive of the dining reservations here is the Chef’s Table which can be nearly impossible to get because of the limited availability.  If you are able to score this reservation you are in for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime culinary fantasy with each course catered to you.



1. Club 33

By far, the most exclusive dining experience at Walt Disney World is the brand new Club 33.  Recently “imported” from Disneyland, this members-only dinner club has a price tag for membership and dues that most of us can only dream about.  Membership allows you the ability to dine here, so it stays very special for its guests.  The current locations include Adventureland in Magic Kingdom, The American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot, and above Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. Even the entry to these locations is exclusive with a simple MagicBand reader and doorbell. Though I’ve never had the privilege of dining at these locations (or at the Disneyland location), I am sure that the service is impeccable and the menu options delicious.

Have you dined at any of Walt Disney World’s exclusive dining locations? - 8 Most Exclusive Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World

Dining at Walt Disney World can be one of the most exciting, and sometimes the most overwhelming, experiences on property.  There are some restaurants that are worth facing crowds of guests and potential lines on top of advanced reservations, because the dining experience is just that amazing. But there are other times you just want a great meal away from the crowds, maybe even without a reservation. And there are plenty of places you can find just that.  Here are some of our favorite restaurants for avoiding the crowds at Walt Disney World.

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9. Restaurant Marrakesh

If this hidden gem isn’t on your radar, it should be!  Restaurant Marrakesh is tucked away in the Morocco Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.  With a ton of seating, it’s never crowded, and as a bonus, you’ll be treated to gorgeous tile mosaics and Moroccan architecture, belly dancing and music, and savory eats.  Be sure to spend some time enjoy the alleys of this stunning pavilion before you leave!



8. Sanaa

The hike from wherever you’re staying to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is worth it to dine at Sanaa, in Kidani Village.  Lunchtime is probably the best time for a visit, although the restaurant is rarely busy, so you can’t go wrong.  Service is great here, helped by the fact that cast members don’t have crowds to serve.  While you dine, you can gaze out on the savanna, and watch animals wander by, perhaps in search of lunch of their own!  You can be as adventurous as you want here, and try some fabulous new delicacies, or play it safe with some tried-and-true favorites.

7. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

We recently discovered Tony’s Town Square, perfectly situated just inside the entrance to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and we wish we’d discovered it sooner!  It boasts wonderful Main Street USA views (ask for a patio table), and the Italian cuisine is delectable.  To top it off, we’ve never found this restaurant to be busy, and it’s a great option if you need a last-minute reservation or walk-in!


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6. Yak & Yeti Restaurant

There’s nothing we don’t love about Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.  The richly themed, ornate Nepalese décor is eye-catching (wherever your table is, make sure you wander around and admire the atmosphere on both floors), and some of our favorite food in Animal Kingdom can be found here (Fried Wontons, we’re looking at you!).  We also love the fact that somehow, this restaurant is seldom crowded.  We’ve even walked in without reservations.

5. Maya Grill

If you haven’t stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs, you likely don’t realize this gem of a restaurant exists.  Maya Grill offers up Mexican favorites, but also throws in dishes you might find in a steakhouse in America.  Budding archaeologists will love the Mayan décor – you’ll feel like you’re dining in an ancient pyramid!  While Maya Grill is only open for dinner and reservations are required, this is a peaceful oasis that was nearly deserted when we dined, so you may be able to walk right in and grab a seat, like we did.  Try the Queso Fundido – you’ll be glad you did!

4. Nine Dragons

Head to the China Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot if you’re looking to avoid the crowds at mealtime.  Nine Dragons offers dishes from different regions of China, and it looks gorgeous, inside and out.  The interior is ornately designed, with lanterns, wood carvings, and glass artwork featuring dragons.  While you’re waiting for your food to arrive, you can practice writing Chinese characters using your placemat.  We love the value for the money here, and the fact that we can usually walk in without a reservation, and still be seated.



3. Biergarten Restaurant

Get your polka on at the Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot!  This is another restaurant that is rarely crowded, so it’s a great place to avoid the chaos of a day at Walt Disney World.  You’ll sit at communal tables, and enjoy a hearty buffet that features Bavarian favorites like pork schnitzel and apple strudel.  As part of the Oktoberfest vibe, you can even show off your moves on the dance floor or just relax and listen to the band while enjoying a German beer flight.

2. Rainforest Café

Animal Kingdom’s Rainforest Café (there’s also a sister restaurant in Disney Springs) is the place to be if you’re looking for a dining adventure.  Of course, there are Rainforest Cafes throughout America and Canada, which could be why we haven’t found this restaurant to be busy on a typical day.  We love the fun jungle theming, and the regular thunderstorms!  This restaurant makes a great introduction to Animal Kingdom, and it’s conveniently located right at the entrance of the park.  Your safari awaits!



1. Ale and Compass

We tried the Ale and Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort on a recent Walt Disney World trip, and were not disappointed.  We visited for lunch, so we can’t speak to the dinner crowds, but at mid-day, we were practically the only ones in the restaurant.  It’s not as fancy as the nearby Yachtsman Steakhouse, but the understated nautical décor will still make you feel like you’re at a upscale New England resort.  And the food is simply excellent.  The Truffle Fries with shallot mayo were probably the best fries we’ve ever tasted! - 9 Best Restaurants for Avoiding the Crowds at Walt Disney World

Going to Walt Disney World is an incredibly magical experience. But did you know that even eating there can be, too? Any restaurant you visit is going to be great, but there are certain places that just add that little bit of extra pixie dust. Here are our 8 most magical places to dine at Walt Disney World:

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1. Cinderella’s Royal Table

For a little kid, or a big kid, it’s hard to beat eating in a castle. Especially when it’s Cinderella Castle! At this incredible dining experience, guests are treated like royalty while eating in the heart of the iconic Disney landmark. Not only do guests get to enjoy a feast, they get to hang out with the princesses too! The interior of the Castle is gorgeous, and the views of Magic Kingdom are absolutely magical!

2. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Another meal fit for a princess! This character dining meal is located in the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, and Ariel all make their way around the restaurant to share Storybook memories with their guests. Classic American breakfast is served daily, while Norwegian cuisine is offered for lunch and dinner.



3. Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White

Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge has been transformed to be something right out of the classic film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There is a lovely prix fixe menu with themed foods from the movie or fairytales in general. But the magical part of the evening is dining with Snow White herself and her friends, Dopey and Grumpy. Watch out though! The Evil Queen might be lurking near….

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4. Chef Mickey’s

There’s nothing magical about the menu at Chef Mickey’s. There’s nothing all that magical about the décor of the restaurant. But the look on a child’s face when he sees Mickey coming toward him? That’s pure magic. Chef Mickey’s is a standard American buffet in the Contemporary Resort. They offer breakfast, brunch, and dinner daily, where guests can hang out with Mickey and the whole gang.



5. Be Our Guest

What’s up with Disney and castles? Just kidding. Now guests can be Disney’s guest in the Beast’s castle! In Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, guests can eat a quick serve breakfast and lunch, or sit down dinner, in one of three dining rooms that look like sets from the wonderful movie Beauty and the Beast. This is so magical. Guests can truly feel like they are a part of the movie, even trying the grey stuff or running into the master of the castle!

6. California Grill

This fine dining restaurant at the Contemporary Resort is known for its amazing seafood and sushi and romantic atmosphere. But it’s also known for its beautiful fireworks viewing! Every night, the lights dim and the music gets pumped into the restaurant from across the lagoon. Here you can have a unique, fun, and downright magical experience right from your table! Regardless of when you ate, you can come back with your receipt to get special viewing too!



7. ‘Ohana

‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort is magical because it’s totally unique. For breakfast, guests can join the ohana of Lilo and Stitch! These lovable goofs, along with some other friends of theirs, hang out at the restaurant for pictures and autographs. For dinner, families often see a Hawaiian storyteller and singer who walks around the restaurant throughout the evening. Don’t forget coconut races! Kids are invited to participate in this tradition as they roll coconuts around the restaurant. ‘Ohana is a restaurant for families, and that’s pretty magical.

8. Sanaa

Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a restaurant like no other. Its menu is filled with unique and rich flavors and everything is delicious. But what makes this restaurant so magical is the view. Sanaa overlooks the AKL savanna. So while you eat your amazing meal, you get to watch zebras, giraffes, gazelles and so many other animals just wandering by right in front of you. No meal is the same, but every meal is magical.

- 8 Most Magical Places to Dine at Walt Disney World